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Monarch builds on its charity efforts

With the Monarch Foundation now spearheading Monarch Group’s fundraising efforts, there’s been a big increase in the sum of money raised. Charlotte Cullinan talks to chair Pauline Prow about the organisation’s work


ince launching in May 2013, the Monarch Foundation has coordinated all the fundraising efforts of the

Monarch Group’s customers and staff, helping raise £300,000 in the past year. Pauline Prow, group HR director and chair of the Monarch Foundation, says the move has dramatically increased fundraising. She explains: “Previously, our efforts were fragmented, but by coordinating everything under one umbrella we have seen an increase of about £100,000 a year in the amount we raise.” The foundation currently supports

10 charities, focusing on young people, disadvantaged families, education, the environment and injured military service personnel. New charities can be introduced each year, with Just a Drop and Blind Veterans UK recent additions. Prow says within the next few years the foundation will also consult customers, suppliers and agents about charities they would like to see supported. Monarch’s 3,000 staff have helped

raise money through a range of events, including cake sales and sponsored sporting challenges, while a pilot trekked the Great Wall of China and several staff have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. They can also apply for a matching grant of up to £1,000 when doing their own fundraising, which enabled the foundation to support about 30 additional charities in the past year. Customers are also involved, and are invited to make a 50p charitable

donation when booking online, or donate loose change on return flights. Prow says feedback has been positive, adding: “Our customers do enjoy being involved and people often feel a bit indulgent when booking a holiday, so having the option to help others at that time is great.” However, the foundation’s remit

goes beyond simply raising funds, as Prow wants to strengthen ties with

the 10 charity partners. The Homeless World Cup was keen to increase awareness of its charity work, so in October two of Monarch Group’s communications team will attend its football tournament in Chile, to help with promotion. Blind Veterans UK is also advising the Monarch Group on how to help visually impaired passengers travel, and will assist with training for staff.


Over the past 25 years, the Monarch Group has raised more than £4 million for Macmillan Cancer Support. Until now the majority has been general fundraising, but the foundation was also keen to support individual projects. Prow explains: “The £4 million

is equivalent to building four cancer units, which is fantastic. However, we wanted to be able to tell our customers and employees more stories about our fundraising and how the money they raise is used.” One of the first local projects

to receive support was the redeveloped Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre in Stevenage. The foundation raised £50,000 to help build a courtyard garden, and Prow visited the centre with colleagues to speak to staff about plans to develop the existing unit. She explains: “We saw how they were managing cancer care and wanted to help them do more. The change between the old unit and the new one is amazing, and knowing that the new garden was built partly because of our fundraising efforts is fantastic.” The garden opened to patients

The Monarch Foundation’s Pauline Prow (left) and Sally Russell (right) with Sally Hill, Macmillan partnership manager at Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre in Stevenage

this July, and research has shown that well-designed gardens improve patients’ response to treatment. One of the reasons this project

was selected was the centre’s proximity to Monarch’s head office in Luton. Prow explains: “We have staff in the area and lots of our customers fly from Luton. Unfortunately, everyone knows someone who has been touched by cancer, so helping build the garden had a huge appeal from a fundraising perspective.” To help further raise awareness,

information will be included in Monarch’s inflight magazine, Passport, and in the quarterly foundation newsletter for staff.

Fundraising donors with members of Lister Hospital and Macmillan Cancer Care staff 17.07.2014 29

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